My father-in-law was buried in a large Presbyterian Church in Littleton, CO. We met at the church at 10:00 am for the service to place his ashes in the Columbarium in the church yard, and then trooped inside for the memorial service. My father-in-law and mother-in-law had chosen the music for the funeral a couple of years ago. Neither of them knew a whole lot about church music or the pragmatics of congregational singing. There were issues.
The first hymn we all had to sing was “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is very difficult for a congregation to sing, being better handled by a soloist. (Our daughter-in-law has a beautiful voice and sang it at my parents’ funerals. ) It really doesn’t have a set tempo, and the tempo changes as the song progresses. Then we had to sing “How Great Thou Art”. That went a little better, but the whole thing was made worse by the piano player.
The piano player was an elderly man who played the grand piano in the sanctuary like Liberace. I was surprised there was no tip jar. He is the main keyboard player for the church, and he is a soloist, not an accompanist, who seemed to not care a bit if he helped the congregation get through the hymns. He was loud and bombastic. and played with lots of arpeggios and ornamentation. It was all about him and how flashy he could play. I would find attending regular services there really annoying.
I suppose I have been spoiled by the wonderful music I have been exposed to in the Lutheran churches I have attended in my life. This experience made me decide to to write down what music I want at my funeral.
What music do you want to celebrate your life when you are gone?
Our Microsoft Outlook went wonky last week, and wouldn’t send any emails, telling me that all our messages were rejected because of abusive behavior on our part. This happened once before, and the tech guy who fixes our computer had to push some unknown button to correct the issue so that Outlook communicated with our internet provider. When it happened again last week, I took a chance and just restarted the computer. It did a few upgrades and, voila, our emails were delivered.
I needed a reboot after a stressful late winter and early spring at work and with my regulatory board. Our travels kept me from rebooting in the way that is the best for me, which is pulling weeds and planting new plants and seeds. I finally got to do it last weekend, and, despite developing that weird eye virus, it greatly helped my spirit and made me very happy. It is hard for me to focus on work problems when I am weeding and laying down soaker hoses. It is good for me to worry about cut worms instead of paperwork deadlines. This year we only planted 21 perennials, a record low for us, but our garden beds are really shaping up. I can breathe deep and relax just looking out the windows.
How do you recharge and reboot? Any wonky computer issues vexing you?
Well! I am curious about yesterday’s dearth of comments on Rogers and Hammerstein. Ben said they were too “Syrupy”. I suppose, but they fit their times. I remember finding a book in the local library when I was in Grade 7 that described most of the recent musicals of the early and mid 20th century. I was fascinated and researched all the musicals that I could, and surprised and exasperated my Grade 7 music teacher with all the things I knew about “All About Eve” with Lauren Bacall. It was the first musical sound track I bought.
We are challenged with deciding what we want to do when we visit New York in November. We want to see a musical.
Any suggestions from Baboons about current Broadway musicals to see? What musicals are your favorites? What is the first musical you remember? What about movie musicals?
This weekend’s post comes to us from Ben.
My car radio displays the name and artist of whatever is playing.
Like most of us here, I have a wide range of musical tastes. Also I’m a channel surfer whether radio or TV and consequently as I’m flipping through radio stations I see a song called “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Son”.
Mind Blown! I don’t know if I should be appalled at the lack of moral character of this woman, or the bad grammar, or the cheatin’ son. And the song started and the man sang “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs”.
Oh. “Songs”. That’s different. I’m still offended by the lousy grammar. More than her possibly loose character evidently. But at least the son isn’t cheating. Ugh, I cannot do country music unless it’s Johnny Cash.
It’s a song by John Anderson. Evidently, it’s humorous. I wouldn’t know; I didn’t listen to any more of it.
Ever cheat? Get away with it?
I went to a Cantus concert last night. The first time I ever heard them sing was on the LGMS, doing Ave Maria by Franz Biebl – it brought tears to my eyes. Even after all these years, it is still my favorite piece that they perform.
Last night they did another song that I also know from the days of Dale and Jim Ed (maybe even as far back as Garrison and Jim Ed – Little Potato by Malcolm Dalglish and performed by Metamora.
I love it when different parts of my world come together.
Do you have a favorite food song?
I was a little too young to be a full-on Beatles fan. In the mid-60s, I hadn’t quite hit puberty yet and didn’t have any of the drama and angst about pop idols that was needed. But that changed just a few years later when the Monkees hit the pop scene.
Along with my friends, I papered by bedroom walls with Monkee posters, I watched their tv show religiously, I bought every single and album, I read every Tiger Beat and Teen Idol that I could get my hands on. In 1967 at the age of 11, I convinced by folks to let me go to their concert with some friends when they played St. Louis (there was a chaperone with us). It was the first pop concert I ever attended.
Peter was my favorite Monkee. Davy was most people’s favorite, but I liked Peter; he was portrayed as a little dorky and scatter-brained, the underdog. I am always attracted to the underdog. So I was sad earlier this week when I heard the news that he has passed away at the age of 77. Not distraught but it somehow feels as if a stage of my life has passed as well. I’m listening to the Monkees right now on my pc.
Who was your first idol?
Today is the anniversary of the 1924 premiere in New York City of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. As a clarinet player, I always loved the opening clarinet slide, and was always so frustrated when I couldn’t replicate it. I recently learned that Gershwin initially wrote the piece for two pianos, and it was orchestrated for Whiteman by Ferde Grofe, yes, he of the Grand Canon Suite. Grofe was considered quite a jazz composer and arranger, which I also find surprising.
I love Gershwin’s music, especially his popular songs. I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t died so tragically young.
What is your favorite Gershwin music? What contemporaries of Gershwin do you like?